jupe the overfunctioning black sheep


Busy Sunday yesterday. By 3 PM, I was confronting the fact that I was overfunctioning like crazy. Before church, as I mentioned yesterday, I helped daughter Sarah with some US online purchases.  Some web sites get a little nervous about accepting UK credentials. I did manage to get my descants redone but left one of them sitting in my printer (this is evidence of off balance).

Our acoustic consultant, Dawn Schuette of Threshold Acoustics in Chicago, was visiting for a consult.  She was expecting the choir to rehearse in the church so I complied even though I had planned not to do so.

The service went fine. I wasn’t extremely happy with our choral sound as I sometimes am. This was due to my own leadership I am sure. I always lay the sound of an ensemble at the feet of its conductor for good or ill. It wasn’t bad yesterday but I can do better.

The congregation was also lukewarm in its singing. Not bad, but we can do better.

It might have worked out okay however since it gave Dawn Schuette a clear platform to point out how some acoustical renovation would help support congregational singing.

She had some very clear ideas about what we could do in our situation. The committee surprised me in its final recommendation that we begin moving immediately on sealing the porous surface of the cinder block wall. The first step will be to price how much it might cost. Jen is going to the Vestry with this recommendation this evening.

It will be interesting to see how this all plays out.

The committee met with Dawn after church. Then after she left we continued to meet. I think it was around 1:30 PM before I got away. By that time I was feeling pretty saturated with church stuff. Not necessarily in a good way. The introvert in me comes away wondering what damage I have done with my own reactions.

I see myself as an outsider in the church situation. And this is in a church which is very supportive of my work. When I consider my relationship to the dominant church community in our area, I feel even more estranged.

Gunnar Myrdal got me to thinking about this when he described Calvinism as keeping “a firm where to buy diazepam in australia line between the redeemed and sinners.” This was helpful to me when thinking about the local situation. I know that the local church musicians keep this sinner at an arm’s length and have for years.  When my colleague Rhonda Edgington broke ranks with them and reached out a bit to me, she observed that I was the “black sheep” of the group.

It always interests me how prevalent racism is in American consciousness. I can remember using the phrase “black sheep” in a  conversation once. One person who was black quietly and firmly said that he had always hated that phrase. Now whenever I hear it, I also hear this compassionate man’s voice and it helps me remember how privileged I have been in my life. So I guess I am happy to grouped with the other.

After lunch I went back to church and worked hard on the Bach St. Anne fugue. I am still seriously considering performing the entire seven or so minutes of this piece as the postlude next Sunday. After returning it hit me that I was on overfunction. Eileen observed that despite this I am doing things that I love. That’s for sure.

And it’s ironic that I feel like an outsider as the church community I serve is taking serious steps to bring the worshiping space and facilities (organ and acoustics) up to my own professional standards.

Some people always complain, eh?

In City of Protests, Pro-Democracy Newspaper Becomes Target – NYTimes.com

Kind of a give away when one of the anti-Democracy demonstrators brings their maid.

Cord-Cutters Rejoice: CBS Joins Web Stream – NYTimes.com

When will these people just stream their stuff with ads? Monthly charge? No thank you.

From Jimmy Carter, a Rebuke to Egypt – NYTimes.com

You know you’re in trouble when the crazy idealists give up on you.

Are Women Better Decision Makers? – NYTimes.com

Real research. Very interesting. I have to say that I can remember panicking once when Eileen and I came home and our young daughters were simply gone. Eileen kept her head and was very calm though she shared my concern. I was very grateful for her levelheadedness. The kids were of course alright.

The Boys in the Clubhouse – NYTimes.com

I find sports pretty boring but this was an interest report.

2 thoughts on “jupe the overfunctioning black sheep

  1. Is the recommendation about sealing the cinderblock walls going to change their appearance? I understand the acoustic concern about them but have always thought that the unpainted cinderblock was kind of cool. Gave the feel of stone…

    1. Depending upon how many coats it takes, Dawn Schuette said that it might change the color a shade but not the appearance. We also need better lighting. So if we up the light a bit, this might even offset any change in color. However, this is still moot as we haven’t an idea of how much this might cost. Cost could easily be prohibitive.

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